IAGC Code of Ethics Introduction

This code of ethics applies to activities within the educational and/or professional roles of certified Generative Change practitioners, including but not limited to individual and group counseling/coaching, training, teaching, supervision, public service, social intervention, organizational consulting, program design and evaluation, and administration. This code of ethics applies in various contexts, including in-person, postal, telephone, internet, and other electronic transmissions. These professional activities shall be distinguished from Generative Change practitioners’ private conduct, which is outside the purview of this code of ethics. This document’s preamble and general principles describe goals intended to guide Generative Change practitioners toward ethical practice. Generative Change practitioners are expected to consider them in arriving at a course of action. The ethical standards provide rules of conduct for Generative Change practitioners that are enforceable by the acting IAGC Ethics committee. The term reasonable is used in this document to mean the prevailing professional judgment of practitioners engaging in similar activities in similar circumstances, given the knowledge the practitioner had or should have had at the time.

Preamble

Generative Change means creating something beyond what has yet existed, either in one’s personal or professional life Generative Change techniques assume that we construct our reality through personal and perceptual filters and that this creative process can be mindfully engaged for positive outcomes Generative Change processes teach you how to build the generative states, for yourself and others, needed to transform (“Imagineer”) dreams into reality These processes then focus on how to maintain these states in dealing with whatever challenges and obstacles arise on one’s journey so that new and meaningful results can occur Hence, Generative Change is a practice that is committed to helping people and organizations realize their intrinsic wholeness, and embody their generative abilities in the world. Ethical conduct reflects the integration and realization of these core values and practices in our professional relationships. The intention of this ethical code is to honor both the premises and spirit of Generative Change. Generative Change practitioners who are licensed by another credentialing agency such as the International Coaching Federation (ICF), or the American Psychological Association (APA), the American Medical Association, (AMA), or state licensing boards, must abide by the guidelines of their own agencies. In their case, the guidelines and codes described below are in addition and do not override licensing organization guidelines.

Ethical Principles

Principle A

Beneficence

Generative Change practitioners are committed to two fundamental values- helping those with whom they work and doing no harm. While their clients’ interests are always primary in professional activities, Generative Change practitioners also maintain the equally important value of doing no harm. It is impossible to enumerate and describe all the various professional situations or issues in which ethical questions might arise for Generative Change practitioners in this document. When involved in a professional activity where ethical standards are not clearly defined or are confusing, Generative Change Practitioners can always return to these basic questions: is my action or lack of action in the best interests of the people with whom I am working and will my action or lack of action cause any harm to them or others? Also, GC practitioners are committed to consulting with other GC practitioners and supervisors in any area of ethical concern; notes of such formal or informal consultations should be kept, including dates and basic issues discussed. Generative Change practitioners seek to protect the well-being and rights of those with whom they interact professionally and others who might be affected. When professional obligations or concerns conflict, Generative Change practitioners work to resolve the conflict responsibly, to avoid or minimize harm. Generative Change practitioners’ professional actions may have powerful effects on the lives of others, so they strive to be aware of and avoid personal, financial, social, organizational, or political misuse of their influence. An essential component of ethical mindfulness is the ongoing awareness of one’s own personal issues in professional relationships. Generative Change practitioners strive to be aware of the possible effect of these issues on their ability to help those with whom they work. A basic question the practitioner can return to regarding any action or lack of action considered is: Who is this for?

Principle B

Integrity

Generative Change practitioners commit themselves to ethical integrity in all of their professional activities and relationships. They seek to bring accuracy and truthfulness to the practice and teaching of Generative Change and do not engage in harmful or hurtful activities towards others. Generative Change practitioners do not steal, cheat, or engage in fraud, subterfuge, or intentional misrepresentation. Generative Change practitioners are aware of the importance of promises and commitments and avoid making commitments they cannot keep, that are not in their clients’ best interests, or that may confuse their clients or in any way compromise coaching goals. In the rare situation where deception may be ethically justifiable (for example, to minimize harm) Generative Change practitioners have a responsibility to correct any harmful effects that arise from the deception. Generative Change practitioners are mindful of the explicit and implicit power differentials in relationships, such as between practitioner and client, between teacher and student, and in group process. They pay special attention to potential power/control issues in their coaching process, being mindful of possible meanings of their actions and verbal and non-verbal communications. Generative Change practitioners aspire to recognize and promote wholeness (or self –integration) in themselves, their clients, and in groups with which they work. Generative Change practitioners strive to be aware of the range of addictions and addictive behaviors in which both they and their clients may participate, including the abuse of alcohol or drugs and patterns of acting out of their own neglected aspects of experience. They seek treatment, counseling, and monitoring for themselves whenever necessary and strive never to compromise their professional relationships or activities through unintentional acting out in these areas. They realize that any and all of their professional actions are reflections of their generative presence.

Principle C

Competence

Generative Change practitioners strive towards a high level of competence in their work. Seeing the study of Generative Change as a lifelong process, they engage in continuing education, and/or coaching, and/or consultation, and/or supervision, including support for both professional development and personal, emotional, psychological, and spiritual growth. Generative Change interfaces with disciplines such as psychology, economics, sociology, anthropology, the arts, theology, medicine, and the physical sciences. Generative Change practitioners recognize the limits of their competence and scope of practice and seek support and/or refer clients to appropriate practitioners in other disciplines when needed. For example, it is strongly unethical for GC practitioners to diagnose or offer treatment for psychological disorders or medical conditions; or to offer professional advice in areas for which they are not trained or qualified, e.g., financial planning or investment, marital counseling, accounting, etc.

Principle D

Professional Responsibility

Generative Change practitioners are attentive to their responsibilities to individuals, society, and the communities in which they work and committed to establishing relationships of trust with those they work with. They follow professional standards of conduct, are clear concerning their professional roles and obligations, take responsibility for their actions, and strive to carefully handle conflicts of interest that might result in exploitation or harm. Generative Change interfaces with disciplines such as psychology, economics, sociology, anthropology, the arts, theology, medicine, and the physical sciences. Generative Change practitioners maintain cooperative relationships with other professionals and institutions, consulting with and referring to them when this would serve their clients’ best interests.

Principle E

Respect for People’s Rights and Dignity

Generative Change practitioners respect the dignity and worth of every human being, and their rights, including privacy, confidentiality, and self-determination. Generative Change practitioners have awareness and respect for cultural, individual, and role differences, including those based on age, gender, gender identity, race, ethnicity, culture, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, language, and socioeconomic status. Generative Change practitioners work towards awareness and avoidance of any biases based on those factors that might affect their work.

Principle F

Social Responsibility

Generative Change practitioners cultivate awareness concerning the broader social context and consequences of their work with individuals, couples, families, and groups. They attempt to resolve any conflicts between their responsibilities to their clients and to their social groups responsibly, to avoid or minimize harm.

Principle G

Ethical Relationships

Generative Change practitioners recognize that relationships between people can be a vehicle for change. They perceive coaching as a cooperative and collaborative process and work with clients as partners, seeking to promote and enhance the well-being of individuals, families, social groups, organizations, and communities, by strengthening relationships. Working with non-ordinary states is sometimes a part of Generative Change practice. Non-ordinary states can arise spontaneously or as a result of the coaching process. Generative Change practitioners realize that non-ordinary states occur naturally and have value and, at the same time, that there are some dangers associated with working with these states. As a result, Generative Change practitioners are acutely sensitive to the need for balance and grounding for themselves and their clients when working with non-ordinary states. They are careful to educate clients about the meaning, value, and dangers of non-ordinary states, dispel any myths their clients may have about non-ordinary states and, in general, bring great care, sensitivity, and clarity to their work with non-ordinary states. As a guideline, practitioners would not use non-ordinary states of consciousness to work with any client issues they do not feel qualified to work within ordinary states of consciousness and recognize the need for the client’s ego-presence as a condition for Generative Change work. Generative Change Practitioners are aware that memories can be recalled with non-ordinary states of consciousness, but they can also be designed or created by the unconscious mind at the time of supposed recall. Practitioners are particularly careful not to take memories as fact and assist their clients accordingly. Generative Change practitioners are especially sensitive to respecting appropriate personal, physical and sexual boundaries in all their professional relationships, including with their clients, students or supervisees, colleagues, therapists, and teachers. Recognizing that emotional intimacy, physical touch, and sensual or sexual comments may have a myriad of associations for others, Generative Change practitioners strive to ensure that their clients’ interests are primary regarding any actions or lack of actions in these areas and to maintain awareness and management of their own intentions and actions.

Ethical standards
1. Resolving Ethical Issues

Misuse of Generative Change Practitioners’ Work If a Generative Change practitioner learns of misuse or misrepresentation of their work, reasonable steps are taken to correct or minimize the misuse or misrepresentation. Conflicts Between Ethics and Law, Regulations or Other Governing Legal Authority If Generative Change practitioner’s ethical responsibilities conflict with law, regulations, or other governing legal authority, practitioners clarify the nature of the conflict, make known to their clients their commitment to the code of ethics and attempt to resolve the conflict. If the conflict cannot be resolved, Generative Change practitioners may adhere to the requirements of the law, regulations, or other governing legal authority and to the extent possible, keep clients informed of their decisions. Conflicts Between Ethics and Organizational Demands If Generative Change practitioners are affiliated with or working for an organization whose demands conflict with this code of ethics, Generative Change practitioners clarify the nature of the conflict, make known their commitment to the code of ethics, and resolve the conflict in a way that permits adherence to the code of ethics, as best they can. Informal Resolution of Ethical Violations If a Generative Change practitioner believes another Generative Change practitioner may have committed an ethical violation, and informal resolution appears appropriate, he or she attempts to bring it to the attention of that individual in order to resolve the issue, provided confidentiality rights are not violated. Reporting Ethical Violations If an apparent ethical violation has substantially harmed or is likely to substantially harm a person or organization and is not resolvable through informal resolution under Standard 1.04 (Informal Resolution of Ethical Violations), appropriate further action must be taken. This might include referral to relevant state or national committees on professional ethics (Coaching, Psychological, Social Work, Marriage and Family Counseling Associations or other relevant Body), licensing boards, or appropriate institutional authorities, including a report to the IAGC Ethics Committee/Board. If an intervention would violate confidentiality rights, this standard does not apply. For Generative Change practitioners not covered by the ethics requirements of their professional organization, it is essential that they work closely with the IAGC ethics committee.

2. Competence

Boundaries of Competence Generative Change practitioners work within the boundaries of their competence, based on education, training, supervised experience, consultation, study, or professional experience. They do not diagnose, treat, or advise on issues outside the boundaries of their competencies, licenses, or credentials, and they refer clients to appropriate licensed professionals when the situation warrants assistance beyond the practitioner’s scope of practice. If Generative Change practitioners plan to provide services involving populations, areas, techniques, or technologies new to them, they pursue relevant education, training, supervised experience, consultation, or study. They take responsible steps (including appropriate education, research, training, consultation, and supervision) to develop, maintain, and ensure the competence of their work and to protect clients from harm. They are clear with clients about the current limits of their competence. Maintaining Competence Generative Change practitioners pursue knowledge of new developments and maintain their competence through education, training, or supervised experience. To maintain IAGC certification, practitioners obtain continuing education training commensurate with the requirements of their professional licensure, as well as following requirements for IAGC regarding maintenance of skills and continuing training. Personal Problems and Conflicts Generative Change practitioners refrain from activities where their personal problems might interfere with their competent performance. When it seems that personal problems may interfere with their work, they take appropriate measures, such as seeking professional consultation or support, and assess how to best proceed, possibly limiting, suspending, or terminating the work that would be impacted.

3. Human Relations

Human Relations Generative Change practitioners do not engage in unfair discrimination in their work activities based on age, gender, gender identity, race, ethnicity, culture, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, or socioeconomic status. Sexual and other Harassment Generative Change practitioners do not engage in sexual or other harassment of clients, students, interns, trainees, supervisees, employees, or colleagues. This includes sexual solicitation, physical advances, or verbal or nonverbal conduct that is sexual, that occurs in connection with the Generative Change practitioner’s activities or roles, and that either (1) is unwelcome, is offensive, or creates a hostile workplace or educational environment, and the Generative Change practitioner knows or is told this or (2) is sufficiently severe or intense to be abusive to a reasonable person in the context. Generative Change practitioners do not knowingly engage in harassing or demeaning behavior in their work based on factors such as age, gender, gender identity, race, ethnicity, culture, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, language, or socioeconomic status. Avoiding Harm Generative Change practitioners take precautions to avoid harming those with whom they work, and to minimize any harm foreseeable and unavoidable harm. Cooperation with Other Professionals Generative Change practitioners cooperate with other professionals when appropriate in order to serve clients effectively.

Informed Consent

Generative Change practitioners take precautions to avoid harming those with whom they work, and to minimize any harm foreseeable and unavoidable harm.

  • the nature and expectations of coaching, including limitations

  • fees, and fee arrangements

  • involvement of third parties

  • limits of confidentiality

  • practitioner’s credentials, experience, education, specialties, theoretical and professional orientation

  • potential risks involved

  • alternative approaches available

  • any other information deemed appropriate by the practitioner

Generative Change practitioners take precautions to avoid harming those with whom they work, and to minimize any harm foreseeable and unavoidable harm.

Multiple Relationships

Generative Change practitioners are aware of their influential position and avoid exploiting the trust and dependency of their clients, students, and supervisees. If a multiple relationship would reasonably be expected to impair the practitioner’s objectivity, competence, or effectiveness, or risk exploitation or harm to the person with whom the professional relationship exists, the practitioner refrains from entering that relationship. Multiple relationships that would not reasonably be expected to cause impairment or risk exploitation or harm are not unethical. If, due to unforeseen factors, a potentially harmful multiple relationship arises, Generative Change practitioners find reasonable ways to resolve it, considering the best interests of the affected person. Conflict of Interest Generative Change practitioners avoid conflicts of interest that interfere with work performance and impartiality. Generative Change practitioners inform clients when a real or potential conflict of interest arises and take steps to resolve the issue, protecting clients’ interests to the greatest extent possible. Exploitative Relationships Generative Change practitioners do not take unfair advantage of any professional relationship or exploit others to further their own interests.

Coaching Involving Couples or Families

A. When Generative Change practitioners agree to provide services to several persons who have a relationship (such as spouses, significant others, or parents and children), they take reasonable steps to clarify at the outset (1) which of the individuals are clients and (2) the relationship the practitioner will have with each person.

B. Generative Change practitioners who engage in such activity after the two years following cessation or termination of coaching and having no sexual contact with the former client, bear the burden of demonstrating that there has been no exploitation, in light of all relevant factors, including

  • the amount of time since coaching terminated;

  • the nature, duration, and intensity of the coaching

  • the circumstances of termination

  • the client’s current mental status

  • the likelihood of adverse impact on the client; and any statements or actions made by the practitioner during the course of coaching suggesting or inviting the possibility of a post-termination sexual or romantic relationship with the client.

E. Generative Change practitioners do not accept as coaching clients those with whom they have engaged in sexual intimacies. Group Coaching When Generative Change practitioners provide services to several persons in a group setting, they describe at the outset the roles and responsibilities of all parties and the limits of confidentiality. Providing Coaching to Those Served by Others In deciding whether to offer or provide services to those already receiving services elsewhere, Generative Change practitioners carefully consider the issues and the potential client’s welfare. They discuss these issues with the client in order to minimize the risk of confusion and conflict, consult with the other service providers when appropriate, and proceed with caution and sensitivity.

Sexual Intimacy

A. Generative Change practitioners do not engage in sexual intimacies with current coaching clients. Generative Change practitioners do not engage in sexual intimacy with individuals they know to be close relatives, guardians, or significant others of current clients. Generative Change practitioners do not terminate coaching to circumvent this standard. Generative Change practitioners do not engage in sexual intimacy with former clients for at least two years after cessation or termination of coaching.

B. Generative Change practitioners who engage in such activity after the two years following cessation or termination of coaching and having no sexual contact with the former client, bear the burden of demonstrating that there has been no exploitation, in light of all relevant factors, including

  • the amount of time since coaching terminated;

  • the nature, duration, and intensity of the coaching

  • the circumstances of termination

  • the client’s current mental status

  • the likelihood of adverse impact on the client; and any statements or actions made by the practitioner during the course of coaching suggesting or inviting the possibility of a post-termination sexual or romantic relationship with the client.

E. Generative Change practitioners do not accept as coaching clients those with whom they have engaged in sexual intimacies. Physical Touch Generative Change practitioners may use physical touch in a coaching context consciously and non-sexually. Generative Change practitioners obtain client’s consent and act with concern for their safety, growth, and awareness of boundaries. A number of factors should be considered to determine the appropriateness of physical contact, including the history, background, mental state, condition, and culture. Termination of Services Generative Change practitioners terminate professional services to clients when such services are no longer required and no longer serve the interests of the clients. Consultations Generative Change practitioners seek the advice of colleagues and/or supervisors as part of their practice or training. In consultations, confidential information that could reasonably lead to the identification of the client is withheld without prior written consent of the client. Information is disclosed only to the extent necessary to achieve the purpose of the consultation.

4. Privacy and Confidentiality

Maintaining Confidentiality Generative Change practitioners keep client confidences, including the names or identities of their clients, except As mandated by law As permitted by law When the practitioner is a defendant in a civil, criminal or disciplinary action arising from the coaching (in which case client confidences may only be disclosed in the course of that action), or With authorization in writing, and then information may only be revealed in accordance with the terms of the authorization. Generative Change practitioners take reasonable precautions to protect clients’ confidential information obtained through or stored in any medium, recognizing that the extent and limits of confidentiality may be regulated by law or established by institutional rules or professional relationship. There may be limits to confidentiality when disclosure is necessary to prevent serious, foreseeable, and imminent harm to a client or other identifiable person. In these instances, Generative Change practitioners follow the dictates of law and disclose only information that is directly relevant to the purpose of the disclosure are revealed. Practitioners inform clients, to the extent possible, about the disclosure of confidential information and the potential consequences before the disclosure is made (when feasible). Practitioners who offer services via electronic transmission inform clients of the risks to privacy and limits of confidentiality of these modalities. Use of Confidential Information for Didactic or Other Purposes Generative Change practitioners only use clinical materials in teaching, writing, and public presentations with a client’s prior written authorization, or with reasonable steps to protect client identity.

5. Advertising and Other Public Statements

If a Generative Change practitioner learns of misuse or misrepresentation of their work, reasonable steps are taken to correct or minimize the misuse or misrepresentation.

6. Record Keeping

The number of years Generative Change practitioners keep coaching and other intervention records depend upon the discipline of the practitioner. Records of Generative Change l work are stored, transferred, and disposed of in ways that protect confidentiality and represent the work accurately. Sharing of or giving over the records of that work is at the discretion of the client.

7. Fees

Financial Arrangements Fees and/or other financial issues are discussed as close as possible to the onset of the professional relationship, and an agreement reached specifying compensation and billing arrangements. Bartering Barter, the acceptance of goods, services, or other non-monetary remuneration from clients in return for professional services, is permissible only if: 1) it is not legally contraindicated, and 2) the resulting arrangement is not exploitative. The standards regarding bartering for some licensing agencies, such as the APA or ICF, are more stringent. Here again, licensed practitioners are primarily responsible for knowing and staying within the guidelines of their licenses.

8. Education and Training

Design of Education and Training Programs Fees and/or other financial issues are discussed as close as possible to the onset of the professional relationship, and an agreement reached specifying compensation and billing arrangements. Descriptions of Education and Training Programs Generative Change practitioners offering education and training programs provide a current and accurate description of the program content (including participation in required course-or program-related counseling, psychotherapy, experiential groups, consulting projects, or community service), training goals and objectives, stipends and benefits, cost of each training segment and total cost of completing program, and requirements for satisfactory completion of the program. Integrity in Teaching Generative Change practitioners take reasonable steps to ensure that course syllabi accurately describe the subject matter to be covered, basis for evaluating progress, and the nature of course experiences. This standard does not preclude an instructor from modifying course content or requirements when the instructor considers it pedagogically necessary or desirable, so long as students are informed of these modifications in a manner that enables them to fulfill course requirements. Maintaining Teaching Related Competence Generative Change practitioners who function as educators provide instruction only within their areas of knowledge and competence, based on the most current information and knowledge available in the profession. When engaged in teaching or training, Generative Change practitioners develop their knowledge about the sources influencing Generative Change work and acknowledge those sources. When engaged in teaching or training in areas where standards of competence have yet to be established, Generative Change practitioners make clear the exploratory nature of the work. Student Disclosure of Personal Information Generative Change practitioners do not require students or supervisees to disclose personal information in course- or program-related activities, either orally or in writing, regarding sexual history, history of abuse and neglect, psychological treatment, and relationships with parents, peers, and spouses or significant others except if (1) the program or training facility has clearly identified this requirement in its admissions and program materials or (2) the information is necessary to evaluate or obtain assistance for students whose personal problems could reasonably be judged to be preventing them from performing their training- or professionally related activities in a competent manner or posing a threat to the students or others. Generative Change practitioners maintain awareness about their own countertransference issues with any students or supervisees and seek supervision or consultation to resolve these issues and ensure that they do not interfere with their teaching or supervision responsibilities. Given the intensity of personal work and/or intense energies involved in Generative Change work, and thus in Generative Change training and supervision, Generative Change practitioners strive to be aware of any personal fears or jealousy about their student’s process which might result in discouragement or inappropriate encouragement of their student’s process. IAGC students or supervisees concerned about the possibility of countertransference issues interfering with their training or supervision may first try to resolve the issue informally. If this is not successful, they may contact the IAGC ethics committee for mediation in this process. It is the responsibility of Generative Change practitioners to inform their students and supervisees of this option. It is also the responsibility of Generative Change practitioners to remove themselves from direct training and supervision of any students or supervisees whose process and personal experience is beyond the understanding and experience of the practitioner. It is imperative that Generative Change practitioners recognize that time be of utmost priority in these situations. Required Coaching When any kind of coaching is a program or course requirement or is suggested during the training program, Generative Change practitioners responsible for that program or for evaluating students’ academic performance or their eligibility for certification do not themselves provide that coaching. Participants may select coaching from practitioners of their choice deemed competent by program leaders. Assessing Participant and Supervisee Performance In training and supervisory relationships, Generative Change practitioners establish a timely and specific process for providing feedback to participants and supervisees and provide information regarding the process at the beginning of supervision. Generative Change practitioners evaluate participants and supervisees based on their actual performance on relevant and established program requirements. If there is a disagreement between students or supervisees and their teachers or supervisors about any evaluation issues, mediation will be available through committee members of the IAGC ethics committee. Students may initiate requests for this mediation. Sexual Intimacy with Students and Supervisees Generative Change practitioners who function as supervisors or in any professional training capacity do not engage in dual or multiple relationships with students/supervisees in which there is a risk of exploitation or potential harm to the student. Generative Change practitioners are responsible for setting clear, appropriate, and culturally sensitive boundaries. GC practitioners formally commit and abide by the following IAGC Ethical Pledge: As an IAGC professional member, I acknowledge and agree to honor my ethical and legal obligations to my coaching/therapy/consulting clients and sponsors, colleagues, and to the community. I hereby pledge to comply with the IAFC Code of Ethics and to practice these standards with those whom I coach, consult, train, mentor or supervise. Should I breach this Pledge of Ethics or any part of the IAGC Code of Ethics, I agree that the IAGC in its sole discretion may hold me accountable for so doing. I further agree that my accountability to the IAGC for any breach may include sanctions, such as loss of my IAGC Membership and IAGC credentials.